Alan Burrows enjoys Faulty Towers: The Dining Experience at Southport’s refurbished The Atkinson arts centre and library.
The bread was thrown at us. We had no knives, just forks.
They served the women five minutes after the men.
And the staff were rude, unhelpful and curt.
At least two diners ended up with false teeth in their soup, the venue had a vermin problem and when the waiter was asked to serve the pre-meal nuts, he swatted them across the room using his hand as a racket.
Yup – probably the best meal out in a long time.
Faulty Towers: the Dining Experience was almost that – a towering faultless experience, full of laughs and, importantly, fine food.
Having sold out the Edinburgh Fringe 2008-2012, this is one finely honed act even though it’s improvised to the venue and the guests.
Starting in the bar, Manuel collected everyone’s spectacles when Basil ordered him to collect the glasses as we were insulted to our seats.
Once sitting, the show was essentially like being in the middle of service at the worst restaurant still in business.
So we get a missing rat, a secret winning bet, one guest is given the post as the German fire warden and a truly- insane Basil mocking the fearsome Sybil behind her back.
All skilfully woven around a meal.
And this is, after all, a food review.
It must be said mass catering usually disappoints, but this was top notch.
D’vine Catering and Event Management laid on a soothing leak and potato soup, a quality chicken breast with wilted cabbage, potatoes and a tasty sauce then profiteroles that oozed the stylish presentation of an a la carte choice.
Not bad for a catering firm based in a Southport butty bar and coffee shop by the market.
On the show’s official website it says: “It’s a set menu, always featuring a soup, a main (probably chicken), and a dessert.
“It will always be good quality, but you should remember that it’s a prop to the show – not the other way round!”
The best prop I’ve ever eaten.
The show is also on at the Blackpool Grand from Monday, July 8 until Saturday, July 13.
There is also a Fawlty Towers Dinner Show at Chorley’s Park Hall on Saturday, September 14: £34.95 including a four-course meal.